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6319 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 163281 9-Sep-2008 12:48
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Tarq57: --Is Avast! "ok" as a free solution?

Yes. Always scores well at The free version lacks some of the features of the pro (such as scheduled scanning) but uses the same detection and cleaning engine.
It also features "boot time scanning", which, had you used it, might possibly have cleaned the problem.

Just a small hint Tarq57, readability is a lot easier if you use the built in quoting system in GZ with is formatted as such:

[ quote ] <nickname>: <text of the quote here> [ /quote ] (you need to remove the spaces from around "quote").

nate: this is a quote from myself

You can have multiple blocks of quote in one reply.

156 posts

Master Geek

  Reply # 163283 9-Sep-2008 12:54
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Just a small hint Tarq57, readability is a lot easier if you use the built in quoting system in GZ with is formatted as such

Thanks, nate. I have become lazy. Most of the other forums I visit have quote buttons in the tools menu.
I'll try to remember.

6319 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 382

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  Reply # 163284 9-Sep-2008 13:00
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Tarq57: Thanks, nate. I have become lazy. Most of the other forums I visit have quote buttons in the tools menu.
I'll try to remember.

No problems.  There is a quote button up on the top right-hand side of each forum post to make quoting an post easier as well.

156 posts

Master Geek

  Reply # 163291 9-Sep-2008 13:26
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In my search for photo recovery software a lot of the sites seemed to feel a little "dodgy", but I wanted to see if images could be recovered. They weren't able to be fully recovered by the "free demo" version so I didn't proceed (free to view, pay to recover).

Can be a minefield looking for software in any category. The first results in a typical Google search are often sponsored- which isn't necessarily bad but can be- or manipulated by a site author to appear first. Get some likely-sounding names, and then Google something like "xxx problems" or xxx worked but"  or something like that. The idea is to look for user reviews or "issues" on forums like this one, rather than site-sponsored testimonials.

For free recovery software, you could try Recuva by Piriform, the makers of the popular Ccleaner.

With regards 2-way firewall - any suggestions? I have only used Windows FW in the past because ZoneAlarm was far too "pestering" for my liking. And I was always afraid I would accidently (or unknowingly) "allow" something that I shouldn't have.

This site, by Andy Manchester, (opening at the "firewalls" menu the way I've posted it) contains a good number of free and paid firewalls (and other goodies, if you search it), seems to be updated quite regularly, and directs one to the homepage of each application selected for download/further research.
Any application-based two way firewall will "pester", initially, until it learns what you want to allow or deny. Therein lies one of the hazards.
A rule based firewall takes longer to set up correctly, but then won't pester. Catch is, if you add software, you need to update the ruleset.
The good thing about having a two way firewall is that should a threat undetected by your other software (AV etc) iinstall itself, it will then typically want to "phone home", for reinforcements, or to send your provate data out to the malware creator, or other similar reasons. The outbound control on your firewall represents the last chance to prevent it doing so. Sort of like a sfety net.
So it's worthwhile putting up with the popups, reading and uinderstanding them properly, while the firewall beds in. Once it has learned the rules you have set (by clicking allow/deny/remember) it should be much less pestering.
A lot of the current firewalls (eg Comodo, Online Armour) include behaviour blocker, or HIPS. This can be thought of as an internal firewall, and takes a little more learning about.
I use Comodo2.4, in conjunction with Avast, and Threatfire.
Hope that helps.

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 163298 9-Sep-2008 13:46
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That's VERY helpful. In fact that's what I will use then. Thanks!

424 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 163333 9-Sep-2008 16:36
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ahmad: I think I will reinstall.
And when I reinstall, what can/should I use to prevent this happening again? Free solutions are essential.

Lots of great ideas here but I feel compelled to give my ideas.

I don't use antivirus software and I've probably never had a virus or malware attack.  When I was running XP, I had two accounts, one with limited permissions and one with full permission.  With a few exceptions (windows update and flash update), the full permissions account was to be never accessed while online.  The full permission account was only used for installing and related tasks.

Here is my procedure for a reinstall: install XP and then with the admin account, I ran SP3 from a CD, download multitude updates and reboot, never going outside the microsoft domain.  Windows update should be run 3 times  with reboots before assuming that all updates are downloaded.  Download the latest Windows Media Player, also Windows Defender.

Go to and download the flash player using the admin account.  Sometimes this doesn't install correctly, reboot if that's the case and try again.  Check in Add Programs (in control panel) and see if it's the latest version.
Download the latest Acrobat reader then run the update from inside Acrobat.

Update any other programs that are commonly used (that's all I use) using the limited account if possible.

When web browsing, just use the limited account.  If some software needs to be installed, think about why they need some piece of software to be installed.  If it's some sort of media (sound, video) request, I forget it.  My reasoning, why would some website need to install software when they could just use flash or WMV?  If it's the local bus company wanting fancy graphics for a real time map, that's different.

A good, 'safe' place for downloads in, easy to use and lots of reviews.

I reckon that these instructions are just too complicated for the average user, my brother had a PC that got zombified and with a single account XP system running on broadband with a 8 year child in the house, my sister's will probably go the same way soon.

93 posts

Master Geek

  Reply # 163404 9-Sep-2008 23:14
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well if you really dnt wana reinstall windows.. u can try this.. will take 15 mins..

just go to user account.. create a new admin account.. switch to that
and delete the old user account.. wipe the old one out..
very effective but of course not as good as a frsh wipe out.

try it.

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